Copiague students pay tribute on September 11


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Copiague Students Pay Tribute on September 11

Members of the band, under the direction of Tim Gavin, played “Taps.” Pictured from left: seventh-grader Jaime Kister and eighth-graders Abigail Romero and Dahlia Claros-Sanchez.

In remembrance of the lives lost, the heroic first responders and the families left behind on September 11, 2001, the students at Copiague Middle School held a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. Thursday.
“We must never forget those who perished, those who were first responders, those who assisted in the healing process and those who continue to defend our freedom today,” said Principal Andrew Lagnado in his address to the student body following the moment of silence. “It is especially important that we never forget so that history never repeats itself.”
To conclude the moment of silent reflection, Mr. Lagnado read “One,” a poem written by University of Houston professor Cheryl Sawyer in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and members of the band, under the direction of Tim Gavin, played “Taps.”


Copiague Honors Years of Dedicated Service

Continuing its tradition of recognizing years of dedicated service to the district, the Copiague School District honored staff members who have served the school district for 20, 25, 30 and 35 years.
Superintendent of Schools Charles A. Leunig and Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Todd Andrews led everyone down memory lane as they shared songs, TV shows, movies and celebrities that were most popular during 1994, 1989, 1984 and 1979. Each person celebrating an anniversary received a token of appreciation from the school district.

 Honored during the ceremony were:

35 Years


Rose Marie Bell, GNR Teacher & Stephanie Lanfranchi, MS Teacher

Thirty Years


Karen Swenson, SEW Teacher & Peter Cesare, Director of Athletics

25 Years


Melody Cesare, MS Teacher, Karen Coyle, DGE Teacher

James Konen, HS Teacher, Stephen Rebholz, HS/MS Teacher

Sarah Rowan, MS Teacher, Nancy Schneider, HS Teaching Assistant

& Michele Smith, MS Clerk Typist

20 Years


Maria Barrera, MS Cafeteria Aide, Francine Buchheim, MS Teacher

Rose Clark, SEW Teacher, Laura Guire, MS Teacher

Lisa Korsch, HS Teaching Assistant, Matthew Miles, HS Teacher

Mary Ellen Ruppert, Superintendent’s Secretary

& Tara Wilson, GNR Teacher





 Sixth Graders Get Lay of the Land at Orientation

Students entering sixth-grade at Copiague Middle School on Sept. 2 received a sneak peak of their first day of school, as they participated in the school’s annual orientation and barbecue on Aug. 27.

“We look at this day as being all about our new students,” said Principal Andrew Lagnado. “The building is theirs for the day to meet their teachers, receive a tour, get their schedule and learn how to open their lockers. All the things that may give a new sixth-grader a little trepidation, we try to ease that with this program.”

The orientation concluded with a barbecue featuring hot dogs, soda and chips, and the chance for parents to join the PTA and students to register for a library card at the Copiague Memorial Public Library.


Copiague Middle School Assistant Principal Michael Ferretti welcomes students during the annual sixth-grade orientation and barbecue.


Incoming Copiague Middle School sixth-grader Jonathan Albelo receives assistance with his locker from his mother Angela Albelo during the school’s annual orientation and barbecue.


Emma Rosenberg, Jada Angel and Jordan Kelly attend Copiague Middle School’s annual orientation and barbecue on Aug. 27.

Long Island Dance Force

Getting Happy with Geometry at SEW

SEWGeometry With
their creative thinking caps on, third-graders in Nicole Giannini’s class at
Copiague’s Susan E. Wiley Elementary School wrote a song about geometry. Set to
the tune of Pharrell’s hit song “Happy,” the students sang their tune for parents
and guests on June 6. “The song was a fun way for the students to learn about
geometry and a good use of their spelling words,” said Ms. Giannini.

Michele Scotto

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Top Senior Athletes


On Sunday, June 8, the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk and the Butch Dellecave Foundation recognized the top senior male and female athletes from each school. This year, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School nominated seniors Michael Illicete and Zyare Brown for the award named in the honor of one of the founding fathers of the Suffolk Hall of Fame.



Marking a MilestoneMSMovingUP

Middle school eighth-graders marked a milestone in their educational careers, as they transitioned to the high school during the annual moving up ceremony on June 25. Held inside the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School gymnasium, the students marched in wearing their blue gowns as proud parents, families and friends documented the occasion.

“All of you will leave behind a positive legacy on our middle school, and I have the highest expectations as you are welcomed into the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School,” said Principal Andrew Lagnado. “You are prepared, and you are ready for the academic rigor of the high school.”

Superintendent of Schools Charles A. Leunig added, “Become active citizens and participate in your high school community. I urge you to try new things, and break out of your comfort zone – challenge yourself!”

Valedictorian Andrea Campos and salutatorian Alexandra Saczawa spoke about their years at the middle school, their future at the high school and beyond. Following the presentation of diplomas, the class came together one final time as they marched out of the high school gymnasium, preparing to return in August for freshman orientation and begin their next educational milestone.

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National Winner
NationalWinnerWalter G. O’Connell Copiague High School senior Lindsay Griffiths has been named a winnerin the 2014 National Achievement Program. The National Achievement Scholarship Program exists specifically to honor academically talented Black Americans and is conducted by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Her award is being underwritten by NMSC and provides a single payment of $2,500.Sign in or Register for Full Website Access

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First Class


Sportsmanship Honored

SoftballSportsmanshipPictured from left: Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High
School junior and softball co-captain Miranda Zanatta, coach Jean Ann Kohn and
junior and softball co-captain Priscilla Nuñez.

For the second consecutive year, the varsity softball team at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School received the
Sportsmanship Team of the Year Award from the Suffolk County Softball UmpiresAssociation. Only one varsity team within the county is given the award eachyear. “One of the foundations of Copiague softball is sportsmanship,” saidcoach Jean Ann Kohn. “To be honored two years in a row makes me extremely proud of my team.”